Oxfam at the O2 London Mela 2012

Posted by Kalyani Gandhi Rhodes UK South Asia Engagement Manager

28th Aug 2012

We're proud to have been an official partner of the O2 London Mela this August. It was a magnificent day, with an estimated 82,000 people attending! Amidst the music, dance and family picnics, Oxfam had a chance to showcase its long history of working in South Asia. We also made a special Oxfam film.

"We have had an amazing time at the Mela and the spirit has been one of fun and celebration," said Jane Cotton, Oxfam's head of HR. "It's not just an Asian festival, it's a cross-cultural festival and it's been an amazingly vibrant day! To be chosen as a partner in the O2 Mela's tenth year was a great acknowledgment of our dedication to working in the region."

The timing for Oxfam  was significant: last year was our 60th working in India and our 40th in Bangladesh, and we'll be marking our 40th year in Pakistan next year. Our recent work in the region has included:

Our highlights of the Mela included:

  • The Philharmonic Orchestra in collaboration with award-winning vocalist Jaz Dhami, Bhavan Centre and Bollywood Brass Band gave a spectacular performance, which included the London premiere of Holst's "Indra".
  • Stranger Family, a collective of the five foremost artists in the British Asian music industry today, sent the crowds wild.
  • Ustad Ali Hafeez Khan headlined the Eid Stage, celebrating the end of Ramadan and the holy month of fasting.
  • In the BBC Asian Network Mix Tent, hosted by Nihal, resident DJs kept the crowd dancing throughout the day - with a special guest spot for Radio 1's Tim "Big Dawg" Westwood.
  • The Vibrant Mela Carnival featured dancers and drummers from around London and the world.

We're also taking part in next year's Mela - where we'll highlight our 40th year of working in Pakistan. We're already looking forward to it!

Blog post written by Kalyani Gandhi Rhodes

UK South Asia Engagement Manager

More by Kalyani Gandhi Rhodes